War feasts upon death. Its greedy appetite carries away many a life on the battlefield, and soldiers must be ready to die at any time. Yet all these sacrifices can be given meaning and reason with honor. A weathered witness of war's insatiable appetite, Guzidi, Captain of the Ninth Company, will struggle his entire life to return honor to his forty six men and their self-sacrifice. The year 1948 witnessed the launching of the Huaihai Campaign during the Chinese Civil War. In one of Chinese history's deadliest battles, thousands from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Nationalist Army (KMT) fell in the battle that took place between Xuzhou and Bengdu. It was amid this bloody fight that Captain Guzidi led the Ninth Company infantry unit on a sniper mission. His orders were to fight the KMT Army until the retreat assembly call was sounded. Yet, after many long hours of painstaking resistance, Gu watched powerless as the ammunition ran out and the scant ranks of the Ninth Company ...Written by
A major box-office success in mainland China. See more »
When Gu Zidi stands on the watchtower, his position changes between the highest and the second highest level of the watchtower. This is clearly visible since the highest level has no diagonal beams. See more »
Compare this one to western war movies to see culture differences.
Besides all the positive reviews about its realistic visual style, the shaky camera and all the "Private Ryan" stuff, it really deserved compliments from Chinese people, while we can see the true differences between Chinese people and Western people in a cultural perspective.
I've read some reviews criticizing the Assembly for it being too "western", and has significantly less character development in the entire movie, but to state in short Assembly is a movie purely shot from the angle of Captain Gu, who is the main man in the movie. It is very unusual to portray any war from an individual perspective for Chinese, even not in recent years. However, once someone wants to try it, it will come out with some side effects bound with Chinese culture. 1, Captain Gu's character is very "north-Chinese", which means he takes everything personally and with high dedication. Usually, he takes his men more than brothers. When brothers die, he cares about their bodies and believes they will be reincarnated. This is very typical Chinese man-man relationship in a near-modern china. Plus, the supporting characters are not memorable enough due to the magnitude of this Chinese civil war. China has the largest population in the world, which means one or two lives are not significant. And even the director strives to focus on individuals, such reality still rule the whole story.
2, Captain Gu's has a significant pursuit over the comrades' honor they deserved. However if you were Chinese, you would feel the motivations behind this action are strongly related to Chinese beliefs. Gu has strong emotions on his men, but he never accepted the truth that they are all gone. He'd believe they wouldn't rest in peace because the earthly honor unattained. Besides, director Feng Xiaogang apparently deviated from the typical Chinese war movies' atheism tune and communism campaign injected by political needs. This is to note the fact that very few man purely completely accepted atheism, even in a Communism China.
Well done. This is a Chinese war movie about the wide gray scale in the war and in China.
2, Captain Gu's
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